Hate, hate, hate is one of the most common words on social media. People seem to hate black, white, brown, conservative, liberal, wealthy, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and every other sort of human being you can name – some even say they hate most of them. Of course, a select few indiscriminately hate everyone, including themselves. It’s one of those words that seem to be mob-driven, as if the group shouting it knows the heart of those being accused of it.
Let’s look at the meaning of hate per Merriam-Webster. 1. a.: intense hostility and aversion, usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury. b. : extreme dislike or disgust: antipathy, loathing. Note that in both definitions, the modifiers are intense and extreme. I and others have often casually said we hate doing chores or similar statements; we do not usually mean extreme or intense. It is my opinion in public forums, we might want to be a bit more precise. By accusing others of hating, we not only assume what they feel is actually hate, we create divisions within society by doing so.
The definition continues in the phrase, “usually deriving from fear, anger, or a sense of injury”. We only grow to hate if we get that far from fear first. It is a human trait to fear what we don’t understand, aren’t familiar with, or feel threatened by. We could fear we might lose our job, way of life, power, language, or anything – real or imagined. After fear, we may rise through resentment and anger. Once we are angry enough, it could grow to an intensity to arrive at the emotion described as hate.
What Science Has To Say
There is much scientific evidence that hate is not only destructive to one’s piece of mind but also has damaging health consequences. In fact, though hate is the most damaging, all negative emotions are unhealthy and have long-term effects if continued for months or years. The crazy thing is that one’s desire to destroy another with hate only destroys the hater.
There is another piece of scientific evidence that is helpful if you want to lead a life of mental and physical health. That is, you actually can control your emotions. There are many techniques you can find by doing the research. Perhaps one day I will add a bibliography of references for any who wish to change.
An Exercise to Dispel Hate
I have found one that works for me called “minding your mind”. It is simply an ongoing self-examination or watching your thoughts and emotions like an outside observer. You don’t have to sit cross-legged and contemplate your belly button or have some kind of faith; you just make a habit while going about everyday life, watching your thoughts and emotions as they arise. As it became a habit, I was astonished at how many thoughts would come up unbidden and unwanted and could be dismissed or acted upon as I chose, like watching some chattering monkey. Others I learned this technique from referred to as the monkey mind. Watching emotions were similar. I became aware of them as they occurred and, in many cases, could cease to have it continue.
Many people believe they are the sum of their thoughts and emotions; therefore, they can’t control them. I lost three subscribers the week after I posted an article titled “You Make Me So Mad”, which was an article describing the inability of anyone to make you mad. You had to create the emotion of “mad” for it to exist. I guess I made them mad.
Positive Scientific Evidence
Back to science. Here is the good news, positive emotions increase your mental and physical health. If you are a Christian, which most of you do if you live in Ellis County, Texas, three of the admonitions from your bible are perfect for bringing about better health in all areas of life. Love God, Love Neighbors as oneself, and Love your enemies. If you are of another faith, I am sure you have the same injunction in different wording.
I will add love and treat kindly the natural world which sustains us. Treating others with kindness, courtesy, generosity, and an understanding heart costs us nothing with everything to gain.
L’Chaim (to life)